Dealers in the U.K. are getting ready for a big increase in new-car orders on Monday. That is when the country's car scrapping scheme takes effect.
"I think the industry will be 150,000 to 200,000 up because of it," said Ingvar Sviggum, Ford of Europe head of sales and marketing.
Sviggum said that since the subsidy was announced last month, Ford of Britain has received 1,400 orders in advance of the plan's official start.
Other automakers also are reporting increased sales inquiries, according to U.K. automaker lobby group the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.
"There has been a good response to the scheme ahead of the official start date and industry is confident that this will be translated into additional orders," SMMT CEO Paul Everitt said in a statement. "The scrappage scheme ... has already started to get people back into showrooms."
Sviggum confirmed this and added that not everyone visiting Ford's dealers in Europe wanted to get rid of an old car.
The same could happen in the U.K.
"We have seen people who are not scrappage customers coming into our showrooms because of (the incentive)," Sviggum told a conference call with journalists earlier this week.
The scheme gives a 2,000 pound (about $3,035) discount to customers who trade in a car that it older than 10 years for a new model.
The U.K. government has invested 300 million pounds in the program.
The government covers half of the incentive, the remaining 1,000 pounds comes from the manufacturer or dealers. There is enough funding for 300,000 new cars.
Similar programs have boosted sales in Germany and stabilize sales in France in Italy. Spain's scrapping program also starts Monday.
The U.K. has been hit hard by the economic downturn. The country's new-car sales have been down in each of the last 11 months.
Through four months, new-car registrations were down 28.5 percent to 613,833 units, according to figures from the European auto manufacturers association, ACEA.
Sue Robinson, director of the U.K. dealers association Retail Motor Industry Federation, is sure the scrapping bonus will provide a boost.
"The sector is looking forward to the influx in customers that the scheme is likely to bring."
But some analysts do not think the subsidy will provide that much of an increase in sales.
"This will be used by manufacturers to help clear their inventories," said Peter Cooke, professor of automotive industry management at the University of Buckingham in central England. "But I don't think it will lead to 300,000 extra cars being sold this year. Consumer confidence in the U.K is very low and cars are the last things people are buying."